WHAT IS FAITH?

LESSON 6

Watch the video and complete the lesson then the mini-test.

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Biblical definition of faith:

Hebrews 11:1
King James Version
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.


Hebrews 11:1
Amplified Bible
Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].

Note what this verse tells us faith is:

  1. Substance

  2. Assurance

  3. Confirmation

  4. Title deed

  5. Faith concerns things

  6. Proof

  7. Conviction

  8. Surety of hope


The God Kind Of Faith:

Mark 11:12-14
King James Version
12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:
13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.


Mark 11:20-26
King James Version
20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
21 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.
22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Let's examine the response of Jesus to Peter when he said behold the fig tree:

Have the faith of God

Jesus offers something never given to man before, the faith of God, or the God Kind of Faith (GKF).

  • GKF speaks to impossibilities.

  • GKF does not doubt.

  • GKF is in the heart.

  • GKF believes what it says.

  • GKF believes to have received.

  • GKF operates in an environment of forgiveness.



This introduces us to the difference between trying to have faith compared with God's faith at work in us.

Foundational Thought #1:
Faith is a Person

Galatians 3:22-26
King James Version
22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

 

  1. Faith came at a specific time

  2. Faith frees us from the law

  3. Faith makes us children of God

  4. Faith is Jesus


Foundational Thought #2:
Faith is in the heart

Romans 10:6-11
King James Version
6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

 

  1. Faith speaks

  2. Faith is in the heart

  3. Faith is in the mouth

  4. Faith is in the resurrection of Jesus


Foundational Thought #3:
Faith is a gift

Ephesians 2:8
King James Version
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Faith and grace work together.
Faith is not of ourselves.
Faith is a gift.
Faith is not of works.
Faith cannot be boasted of.


Ephesians 2:10
King James Version
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.


Foundational Thought #4:
Faith is by a new creation in Christ Jesus

The evidence is overwhelming.

  • Faith cannot be manufactured by human effort or struggle.

  • The only faith that is worth having and that works is God's faith.


Faith in the Old and New covenant:
The word faith appears only twice in the Old Testament.

  • Once as a prophecy about believers in the New Covenant (Hab. 2:4) and once as a rebuke of the people of Israel (Deut. 32:30)


Hebrews 11 let's us know Old Covenant believers had faith.

  • Their faith was obedience to a divine word.

  • Each person in Hebrews 11 received a divine instruction or word and obeyed it.

  • In Hebrews the key word is “better.” We must understand this 11th chapter in the context of “better.”

 

  1. Jesus is shown to be better than Angels, Aaron, Moses, and all the prophets

  2. The blood of Jesus is better than bulls, goats and calves

  3. The new covenant is better than the old

  4. Better promises

  5. A better priest



In no way should this be construed that any of the above was bad. On the contrary, they were good in their time but we have something better.

  • The faith of the Old Testament heroes was good, but they did not receive the promise.

  • There is no mention that we should emulate or copy what Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses or David did.

  • Instead we have something better

 


Hebrews 11:39-40
King James Version
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.


Hebrews 12:1-2
King James Version
12 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We are clouded over with the Old Covenant believer. They are saying:

  • Receive the one we greeted from a great distance.

  • He is available to you, what you have is better.


We have the faith that comes from looking unto Jesus.

  • It's in stark contrast to faith that was obedience to a divine word.

  • Having Jesus’ divine life, the author and finisher of faith is better.



They had the word spoken and written. We have the living Word.

  • Spoken and/or written word is God's thoughts in spoken or written form through the prophets.

  • Living Word is Jesus the embodiment of God's thoughts.


Romans 10:17
King James Version
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.


John 1:14
Amplified Bible (AMP)
And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth.


Romans 12:3
King James Version
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Every believer has a measure of faith imparted to him at salvation.

  • It comes with the Holy Spirit.

  • It's impossible to be a New Testament believer and not have faith.

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